Baltimore Orioles: Chris Tillman’s Awesome Month of July


Jul 29, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (30) pitches during the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After a confusing and horrendously awful start for the 2015 season, Baltimore Orioles starter Chris Tillman has turned it all around in the month of July. On Wednesday night against the Braves, he was but one out away from a complete game shutout. Zach Britton came on for the final out, preserving the 2-0 victory on the strength of solo home runs by Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy.

Tillman had a mixed bag of early results in 2014, but put together a solid final two-thirds of the season. This year, leveling out has taken a bit longer; but the month of July for Tillman has simply been outstanding. And the Orioles needed this from him. It has been a difficult month where many players are underperforming, even as the O’s have now won five straight games.

After being beaten badly by the Rays on May 31st, Tillman was 2-7 with a 5.94 ERA.  Though he would win his next three starts, he got shelled by the Jays on June 21st, giving up six runs in 1.1 innings and seeing the ERA expand to 6.22.

Since that time – over a total of six starts – Tillman has given up five runs in 41.1 innings for an ERA of 1.09.  Opponents are hitting under .200, while he has struck out 30 and only walked six. His record is now 8-7.

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About a week ago we were speaking about how absolutely nothing was going well for the Orioles. If it weren’t for bad luck, they would have no luck at all. But on Wednesday evening, all of that had reversed. Line drives by the Braves were hit right at Orioles players, the O’s turned critical double plays when needed, and a disputed call by the Braves was not overturned (even when maybe it could have been and should have been). As well, the umpire REALLY missed a called third strike against Hardy on the pitch before he hit a hanging curve ball into the seats.

I am not saying that the Orioles were lucky to win. No, they played better than the Braves – who are frankly not a very good baseball team. But the breaks all went the way of the Orioles on this night.

The Orioles now turn to four games against the Detroit Tigers – a squad that may have some roster changes over the next 48 hours. This could be interesting for sure.

So, 100 games are done, with 62 to go. A record of 51-49 is not what we were hoping to see at this point. But all is not lost – yet. But the Orioles need to keep winning.

Next: The O's Rotation is Rotating Well

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